I wouldn’t be writing this if it weren’t for my son, Milo. He was born on February 16, 2016—an Aquarius. The alignment of the stars when he became one says it all. If you’re not familiar with astrology, Aquarians are accepting by nature. And at that time, that’s exactly what I needed: acceptance. But not from my family, friends, or colleagues. I hadn’t fully accepted myself—my failures, my needs, my aspirations. It wasn’t until I brought life into the world that I truly considered the meaning of my own.
The short version of my story began when I was a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University. I was looking forward to studying art fundamentals with hopes of joining VCU’s competitive design program, the country’s #1 public arts and design school. But by the end of the year, my application was denied. Being rejected crushed my confidence in a way I wouldn’t understand for a decade. I was eighteen. Just a kid. After finals, my parents came to Richmond to discuss tuition and board expenses—it wasn’t pretty.
I had to pivot.
I considered studying political science but ultimately decided to major in marketing. It seemed like a logical step, because I could continue to be creative and make a living. And I did—earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing. I was grateful to get a job when, during the ‘08 recession, many people didn’t have one. But I wasn’t fulfilled, and rejection continued rearing its ugly head. I’m not creative enough to be an artist. I can’t make a career out of doing what I love. For years, these lies intensified my self-doubt.
Still, my life was far from boring. I was fortunate to travel the world, immerse myself in different cultures, step out of my comfort zone, and be free. But never fully. I was complacent in my work in DC. I had a steady job in nonprofit fundraising with kind people, but most days were spent inside behind a screen, staring at spreadsheets.
Outside of my nine-to-five, I found solace in writing, photography, and yoga, which was vital when tragedy struck. My younger sister was diagnosed with a rare brain disease and in critical condition. She lost her ability to eat, drink, walk, talk, and even breathe on her own. Her memory, too, was gone. She didn’t know who I was. As I sat by her bedside, from one hospital to the next, I read her Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace is Every Breath. Then I took my first meditation class and started to find inner peace.
Miraculously, after months of treatment, she recovered.
Yet during that time, I kept coming back to my bright orange yoga mat. My practice anchored me so much that my feet and hands tore holes where they landed. I studied with an international yoga teacher, Faith Hunter, and eventually earned my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) certification. While I loved teaching, I didn’t feel like it was the best way for me to contribute to the wellness world.
And my entire idea of what it means to have a career changed when Milo was born. The time for uncertainty and complacency had run its course. If I was going to be away from him, I wanted it to be on my terms with my people. That’s when I had the idea to start Yoga Brain.
It was a cold winter’s day. I was walking with Milo and his dad, Sergio, through Madison Square Park daydreaming about the upcoming year.
I kept thinking of all the incredible women I’d met in the yoga community: women who, instead of outsourcing responsibilities, were trying to be their company’s writer, photographer, digital strategist, accountant, web programmer, and project manager—all when they simply wanted to teach! Like me, they thought “I can’t make a career out of doing what I love.” I wondered, how can I collaborate with them? How can I use my experience to marry the marketing and wellness worlds?
I merge left and right brain thinking, combining extensive expertise in business and communications with fifteen years of practice on a yoga mat. When collaborating with you, I incorporate things like astrology, numerology, and the moon cycle to align every project with the energetic force of the universe. But above all, authenticity and intention are the heart of my work.
I prefer hugs to handshakes.
Coffee shops to conference rooms.
Social justice to silence.
Intuition to statistics.
Stretchy pants to a pressed suit.
You can run your company your way; you don’t have to follow rules.